Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Is your forgiveness bigger than His?

A few months ago, I made my first Reconciliation in over 10 years.  That’s a long time!  I was nervous, I was scared.  I visited, and Googled various phrases that I thought would help me.  Most of the information said to get the ‘big stuff’ out of the way first and then move on to the smaller things.  I also used the Laudate application for my smartphone, which really helped as well, even though it seemed like I checked off most of the sins listed (it was 10 years, and this app delved deeper into the Ten Commandments, and showed how it related in modern times).

The experience was amazing, and ever since, I love going to Confession.  I’ll write about that another time.  One of my ‘things’ is that I’m harder on myself than I should be.  I also have a problem with perfection in my every day life. If I can’t make the house PERFECTLY clean, why clean at all?  I’m working on that.  But as those things apply to my spiritual life, I’m still learning.

Even though I left the Confession booth happier than when I entered, I was still mad at myself for my sins.  What we need to remember is this: when we don’t forgive ourselves, or don’t forgive others, we are saying we are bigger and more important than God!  No matter how much our sin hurts us or another person, it hurts Him greatest of all, for no one loves us more than He does. If the One we have truly sinned against has forgiven us and loves us, should I hold myself and my forgiveness to a higher standard? Withholding forgiveness from others and even yourself is deeply wrong.  Forgiveness for us can be hard; we are, after all, imperfect. God has given us His love and forgiveness. We should share that with others. It’s easier said than done for most of us.  

Forgiveness is an act, not a feeling.  I am still working on the 'feeling' of forgiving someone, but I forgive those have hurt me, whether intentionally or unintentionally.  Perhaps for some of us, making a list of those we need to forgive, and truly searching our hearts while asking God to help us forgive as He has forgiven us, is one way that we can work towards feeling forgiveness.

The priest gave me a penance of praying a Rosary. I had to ask him if I could do it when I got home. I didn't have a Rosary with me, and had probably said 10 rosaries in my 43 years of life. Most of those were as a child, and quite reluctantly, before Mass while visiting Grandma.  My penance, instead of making me suffer, has changed my life.  From that day forward, I chose to pray the Rosary nearly every day, sometimes twice a day.

I am asking forgiveness from those I have hurt or sinned against.  I pray that those people know that I am truly contrite for the pains I have caused, the distress that I put people through. I sinned against others, but I sinned highest against God.  I believe He has forgiven me, and pray that others will as well.

Thank you Jesus for Your forgiveness and love.

I pray that each of us can find the Joy that He has given us in so many wonderful ways, and enjoy the opportunity to grow in our Faith and Love for God.  God bless you, and have a safe 4th of July.

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